Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
In view of the safety concerns expressed in relation to the use of hair dyes, the Commission, Member States and stakeholders agreed in April 2003 on an overall assessment strategy for hair dye substances within the framework of the Council Directive 76/768/EEC (Cosmetics Directive)(1).
With regards to ‘cocktails effects’ of chemicals in general, the Commission recently published a ‘State of the Art Report on Mixture Toxicity’(2) which was the result of a two year study. The Commission consulted stakeholders on this report and has also submitted a formal request concerning mixture toxicity to the Scientific Committee on Health and the Environmental Risks, the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Risks and the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products. The Committees were asked to advise the Commission whether there is clear scientific evidence that when living organisms are exposed to a number of different chemical substances these substances may act jointly in a way (addition, antagonism, potentiation, synergies, etc.) that affects the overall level of toxicity, and if it is the case, how this action should be assessed. The Commission asked the Committees to provide the final opinion to the request by June 2011 at the latest.
By early 2012 the Commission intends, on the basis of the abovementioned study and the received comments(3), to finalise a report addressing the Council request(4) and assessing how and whether relevant existing EU pieces of legislation adequately address risks from exposure to multiple chemicals from different sources and pathways, and on this basis will possibly consider appropriate modifications, guidelines and assessment methods. Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 (Cosmetics Regulation)(5), which will apply from 11 July 2013, contains already provisions to develop and use overall exposure estimates in the safety assessment of cosmetics. The results of the report may serve as a basis for the development of appropriate guidance in this respect.